Control Cable Rehab

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Rob58, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wondering if there is any way to pull the core out of a ‘60s vintage vernier throttle control cable, clean it and make it work like new? Unlike a tachometer cable (where the core is easy to remove) it seems like these control cables are swaged on each end and not that easy to service. Hoping for some ideas on how to restore these old cables to work smoothly. Thanks!
     
  2. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    Just buy new controls. They don't cost very much at all and is rather do that than risk the chance of a cable failing...
     
  3. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    It depends on type/brand. But if its the original cable you're better off replacing as it's usually more a mechanical wear issue than a lube issue. And usually any attempt at simply re-lubing only results in a temporary relief or causes the situation to get worse especially if a incompatible lube is used. In my experience, even on vernier cables that can be disassembled, once the internal liner or cable(s) wear, it's very difficult to salvage those as well.
     
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  4. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    Usually when there’s corrosion in the cable, sad to see some accidents as the result of control cable breaking.

    If it’s slightly stuck, Mouse Milk is the common solution used. Beyond that replace the cable. McFarlane has good prices.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cables are not restorable. Not if you’re going to use them to fly.
     
  6. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All good points! I was just hoping for a quick, easy and cheap solution, but they don't usually come this way! Also I do like the old-school style of the control knobs and nobody that I can find makes the classic knobs any more? Thanks for the feedback and the reality check.
     
  7. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which knobs? Chances are you can find similar if not exact in automotive parts catalogs for the appropriate era.
     
  8. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    I believe McFarlane or others will manufacture custom control cables. Send them a pic of your legacy control knob and see what they can do.
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    This. We stupidly tried the relube once.

    Wasn’t worth trying.

    Mechanic said it was, but we realized later he said that due to schedule and circumstance.

    Oh well. It WAS cheap.

    Replace it.
     
  10. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back in the '50s & '60s many high performance planes seem to use the same style controls for throttle, prop & mixture - very plain looking. I will post a picture or two later. Now everything I find has a "new and improved" style which is not really bad at all - I just like to preserve the classic look. I like vanilla ice cream too. No question McFarlane is a first class supplier and I may try their "vernier-assist" model control as a replacement.
     
  11. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    FYI: make sure the cable knobs installed are the correct ones. Some, not all, GA aircraft are required to have different shaped knobs for all three. There was a thread here on this topic with references. And while Mcfarlane can make custom cables, I seem to recall in some cases the custom cables do not come with a PMA tag.
     
  12. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Rare in aviation. Especially if you want to fly safely.
     
  13. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    Just a thought towards preventive... This thread seems like a good reminder to lubricate working cables with Mouse Milk once in a while to reduce wear and displace corrosion.
     
  14. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    FYI: MM has toulene in it and can dissolve/swell some rubber and plastics. Since most current top-shelf replacement cables use teflon liners it would be best to follow their ICAs or buy Mcfarlane which has a lifetime lubricant.
     
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  15. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    That's a good call-out and could have been more clear in describing legacy cables.
     
  16. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Line Up and Wait

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    If you're going to the trouble of pulling the cable, just replace it. McFarlane sells quality replacement cables.
     
  17. TomRV4

    TomRV4 Pre-Flight

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    I’m sure McFarlane has quality cables, and their sales staff certainly is knowledgable...

    But, I just priced throttle, mixture and prop control cables from both McFarlane and Aircraft Spruce. McFarlane was almost double the Aircraft Spruce price (custom length cables for an experimental)

    Is it really worth twice the price to go with McFarlane vs Aircraft Spruce? Anyone have good bad or ugly things to say about the Aircraft Spruce cables?

     
  18. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    Don't know which cables you are comparing but the Mcfarlane custom/RV cables list for about the same price as the comparable AS cable. For example, the McF RV mixture cable is $199 and the AS RV mixture is $190. And in my experience, the Mcfarlane cables are top shelf.
     
  19. Lycosaurus

    Lycosaurus Pattern Altitude

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    FYI: Before you go lubricating or replacing the cable, make sure the binding is with the cable itself, and not with the servo or carburetor. I had a carb that would sometimes bind at different temperatures. The bottom half of the carb had loosened up (should have checked those bolts) and created some wear allowing some binding in the accelerator pump mechanism. Carb replacement solved the issue (bolt holes became oval). Cable is fine. Had 1000 hrs on the cable/carb.